Monthly Archives: June 2014

Summer Reads

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I’m not usually the type of person who could be found at home engulfed in a novel, but these summer reads have taken me on multiple adventures. If you’re in the market for a new book, check out one of these six books, I promise you’ll be just as hooked as I was.

The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson is set in 1727. Hodgson takes you on a wild journey through Tom Hawkins life. Tom refuses to follow his father’s footsteps and become a country parson, as he loves a life full of wine, beautiful women, and gambling. His interests soon get him in trouble with London’s debtors’ prison and a murder mystery unfolds. Although this book is not my typical read, it is a summer must.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris is a thoughtful novel about the mysteries of modern life. It follows the story of Paul O’Rourke, who is addicted to technology. When he encounters a fake website, Facebook page, and Twitter account created in his name, he finds that this online impersonation of him might actually be better than the real thing. Just like a little Catfish story!

Sara Shepard is the same bestselling author as the series Pretty Little Liars. Her novel, The Heiresses, has the same mysterious plot line. The Saybrooks are a beautiful and wealthy family but are troubled with many mysterious deaths. I won’t say any more about this thrilling mystery, just find out for yourself what is happening in this twisted story.

Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith is her first published piece, but nothing short of a rich novel. Smith’s story takes place in Utina, Flordia. The small town has failed to see any economic growth in years. She takes you on a journey with the Bravo’s, a wild family that encompasses the love of the town.

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon is about the death of printed material and the power of the Internet. The main character, Anana Johnson works with her father at a dictionary producer, but when her father goes missing, her journey goes well beyond her control. It may be a metaphor for what is happening in the world, but you tell me.

Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende is a suspense novel featured in the New York Times. It is a coming of age story about Maya Vidal, who was abandoned by her mother. Her grandmother raised her in Berkeley, California. When tragedy strikes, Maya turns towards illegal substances and crime. Her wild life leads her to a remote island off the coast of Chile…but you’ll have to read more to find out what happens next!

Whether you enjoy reading or not, these books will all take you on a journey. Give them a try or research other books you might enjoy!

 

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Ready for a Rodeo

Stampede Collage

 

(Sun Glasses – Ray Ban Aviators, T-Shirt – Stampede Shirt, Hat – Rodeo Hat, Shirt – Long sleeve Plaid, Jeans – Light blue Levis, Boots – Cowboy Boots)

It’s a Rod-Eh-O

When you think of Canada, the first thing that comes to mind is probably snow, skiing, hockey, poutine, or moose. While all these stereotypes are generally true,  Canada is famous for several other things. One of these is the yearly rodeo held in Calgary, Alberta known as the Stampede. Didn’t expect Canada to be famous for rodeos, eh? Well as it turns out, Alberta, which is the province located north of Idaho and Montana is mostly flat land good for farming and as a result, it has a history that isn’t too different from the American Old West – you could think of Alberta as Canada’s version of Texas. Out of this old western tradition came the Calgary Stampede, a ten day long rodeo held every summer that attends to over a million guests every year.

Like most rodeos, the stampede hosts many events ranging from bull riding to horse bucking and barrel racing. It also includes various rides, exhibitions and lots of food most of it deep fried. Now I don’t want to understate the importance of the Stampede to the city. It’s a really big deal for the city and instills a sense of pride in heritage. In fact last year a flood hit the city several days before the stampede, literally submersing the fair-grounds under water and flooding most of the Saddle-dome, where all the rodeo events are held. Yet in only a few days, city workers cleared out the flood-waters and repaired the fair grounds in anticipation of the City’s biggest festival. So, now that I’ve peaked your interest in the Stampede, the question is, how are you going to get in the Rodeo Spirit?

Wearing a T-Shirt that says “I like Calgary” is a good start and simple enough if you don’t want to dress up in gear full cowboy, but this is a rodeo and you should try to dress as festive as possible. Last year when I attended the Stampede I tried to be festive yet casual. I chose to go with a plaid shirt and light blue Levis jeans – a simple combination that also complements the rodeo atmosphere. Aviators might not be traditional rodeo dress, but believe it or not, it gets really hot during Canadian summers and the sun is constantly beating down on you during the parade. Eventually I convinced myself to wear a cowboy hat both to hide my head from the sun and to show my festive side. For those of you that choose to go all-out, you might want to throw on some boots. IF that’s not enough a large-buckled belt or leather chaps might be your style, but as for me, that would be going overboard.

If you’re planning a vacation soon check out Calgary Stampede 2014. This year’s runs from July 4 to July 13.

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My Favorite Healthy Foods

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( Celery snacks – Greatlist, Chickpea cookie dough – FitSugar, Salmon pasta dish – Fitness Magazine, Green smoothie – FitSugar, Cauliflower pizza – Closet Cooking )

When I first started eating healthier, it was difficult for me because I often felt that there was a lack of meal variation. After doing a bit of research years back, I found out I was very wrong. Eating right isn’t just about staying away from processed foods, but it’s also about what you specifically enjoy preparing.

My favorite snack is celery, peanut butter, and almonds. A great energy booster and it tastes amazing at the same time. Keep these with you throughout the day to avoid vending machine food. Since it is high-protein snack, it will keep you full for longer!

Don’t let this next snack deceive you, because that is not actually cookie dough made from mounds of sugar. This vegan chickpea cookie dough is absolutely life changing (maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s pretty awesome). It is a great source of protein and fiber in one snack, plus it tastes great. Although you can’t bake it in the oven like real cookie dough, it’s a tasty healthy alternative paired with apples or any other fruit.

When you’re in need of an energy booster, try a sweet spinach smoothie. It combines protein, calcium, and fiber into a filling drink. It’s awesome after a workout or to start your day.

The real fun begins when preparing a meal. This grilled salmon, broccoli, and whole-grain penne pasta dish is a great alternative to a carb packed dinner. If fish isn’t your thing, you can even substitute any protein you desire! Make sure to add a little lemon juice and garlic at the end for the perfect finishing touch.

Last but not least, one of my favorite meals. It looks like a normal pizza right? Guess again. This BBQ chicken pizza has a cauliflower pizza crust, a new discovery for the same great taste as a regular pizza but without the bad carbohydrates. You’ll need a food processor for this one and a good amount of cauliflower. Once you process the cauliflower, you can put it together like any pizza crust, top it with desired ingredients, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Finally a delicious pizza you won’t feel guilty about devouring the entire thing.

Even if you don’t enjoy cooking, there are so many fast and easy meals that aren’t loaded with trans-fat and chemicals. Have fun and get creative!

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Need to show your team spirit?

Germany Futbol Collage( Hat – Deutschland baseball hat, Shirt – Team Germany Jersey, Ball – German themed soccer ball, Soccer Socks – Team Germany Socks, Soccer Shorts – Team Germany, Shoes – Men’s cleats, Horn – Vuvuzela!)

How do you support your Team?

The World Cup is already a week in and there have been some nail biting, pulse pounding matches and a few not so exciting ones. For those of you that are lucky enough to actually go to Brazil and see some of these games you’re probably showing your support by screaming in the stands or – if you’re one of those people – making your presence known by blowing on a vuvuzela. But for those of us that are not so fortunate, we have to show our support at home.

For me this usually involves watching the games from home with a bunch of friends and family, donning my soccer paraphernalia. In case you haven’t figured it out from the above image, I’m putting my support behind Team Germany this year and a really subtle but classic way to show team spirit is to throw on your team’s hat. If the hat’s too subtle you could step it up by representing the team Jersey. What better way to show team solidarity (other than body paint) by proudly wearing your team’s colors while watching the game? As for me, the Jerseys and hats are also way to comfortable and make great outdoor and athletic clothes.

If watching the world cup isn’t enough for you and you need to get your own game going, might as well represent your team while playing a game of pick-up soccer. Shorts and socks are all that you need to complete the look. Add a pair of cleats and a themed ball and you’re ready to get your game on while showing your team pride!

Hopefully one year I’ll be able to channel my super-fan side at an actual world cup game, but for now, I’m happy walking around with my Germany hat and screaming at the TV with my Jersey on.

How do you support your team?

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Filed under Sports, Team Germany, World Cup

Gym Bag Essentials

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(Gym Bag- Lululemon, Jump rope- Target, Glass Water Bottle- Lavish & Lime, Quest bar-questproteinbar.com, Sports Bra- Alexis, Ipod- Apple, Tshirt- Etsy, Pants- Lululemon, Shoes- Nike)

What’s in My Gym Bag?

Working out is proven to increase your energy, help you sleep, prevent sickness, and make you happier. Exercising is essential to living a healthy lifestyle, yet some people still come unprepared for the gym or a workout!

A gym bag should be big enough to carry all of your gear. This specific Lululemon bag is just the perfect size and it does not hurt that it is so cute!

I have a slight addiction to workout clothes, which is why I’m always changing my style. This outfit has always been one of my favorites. I love a tank top that will make someone smile as they run past me on the track. Plus, who doesn’t run because they really like chocolate? These specific Lululemon Wunder Under Pants fit so well you may never take them off! You can pick different colored waistbands to give them a personal touch. I know my pair may be worn more for daily activities then the gym because they are so comfortable. Shh…don’t tell anyone! The outfit is complete with a fitted sports bra and Nike Free Runners, which also have amazing color options.

Before I start my workout, I love to jump rope to an upbeat song. Most people don’t think about this activity as fast paced cardio, but just try it for one song on your iPod. Trust me, you’ll notice. After I’m all sweaty and burnt out, a quest bar, an apple, and an ice-cold water help me rejuvenate. Quest Bars are a healthy, tasty alternative to other sugary protein bars.

What’s essential for your gym bag?

 

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Filed under Fashion, Fitness, Gym, Health